A murder suspect who had been at-large for weeks after escaping from a transport van in Gary, Indiana has been captured, authorities said.
Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez said Leon Taylor was again taken into custody Wednesday morning as officers searched in Easy Chicago.
“I am pleased to announce that Lake County Sheriff’s Department officers arrested 22-year-old murder suspect and escapee Leon Taylor at approximately 8:40 this morning,” said Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. said in a statement. “Our officers worked around the clock over the Christmas holiday and investigated every possible lead to bring this fugitive back into custody.”
Authorities said officers with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department Tactical Unit arrested Taylor in the 4900 block of Indianapolis Boulevard in East Chicago "after a brief foot chase."
“Our officers were able to utilize a wide range of resources including surveillance technology in the search for Taylor,” Martinez said. “Our success was a direct result of a cooperative effort including: the US Marshalls Service, Indiana State Police, Chicago Police Department, Hammond Police Department, East Chicago Police Department and Gary Police Department. I commend all of these agencies for a job well done.”
Taylor, 22, escaped from a private transport van Dec. 14 in Gary while in the process of being extradited to Lake County from Texas, the Lake County sheriff’s office said. He is wanted on a murder charge for a homicide in East Chicago.
Authorities had previously released video showing the moment Taylor escaped from the transport van in Indiana.
The video shows the van stopped at the restaurant’s drive-thru when Taylor, who appears to be handcuffed, opens the back seat and flees. Moments later, the driver gets out of the car and runs after him.
“This driver initially told our officers the suspect jumped out of a window, but the video clearly shows him exiting through a door to the vehicle,” Martinez said. “We are looking into this matter as part of an extensive review of the case.”
“I find it appalling that REDI Transports failed to use appropriate caution and may have put the public at risk,” Martinez added.
On Dec. 18, the Lake County Sheriff's Department said officers had arrested Taylor's cousin in the "nationwide manhunt."
Antorries Brown allegedly posed as Taylor while communicating with an undercover officer on Facebook and asked the officer to send him money over Cash App so he could “make a move,” according to a probable cause affidavit from the Lake County state’s attorney’s office.
“Make no mistake. Anyone who helps [Leon] Taylor will be arrested and brought to justice,” Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. said. “The Lake County Sheriff’s Department is intensifying efforts to find this dangerous fugitive and we are using all resources at our disposal to bring him back into custody.”